Saturday, July 12, 2014





Hockey firsts: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond


October 27. 2013 12:26AM

By - tvenesky@civitasmedia.com






Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


By the time a player reaches the AHL or NHL, they have already achieved a lot in their careers and made plenty of memories along the way. Each week, we’ll sit down with one of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and talk about some of the memorable “firsts” they’ve had during their careers, ranging from their first time on skates to their first goal as a pro.


Player: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond


Age: 28


Position: Forward


Birthplace: Levis, Quebec


Years pro: 9


First time on skates: “I was 3. I hated it. I quit hockey because I was playing with older kids. They were 4. They had more skating experience and I was struggling. At 5, I started again and loved it ever since.”


First team: “It was in Levis, where I’m from. We had Edmonton Oilers outfits and we were called the Falcons. It was a great bunch of kids and I’m still in touch with most of my teammates. Everyone played goalie for one game because we wall wanted to try it.”


First coach: “Jeff Maheu coached me in pee wee. He was a great guy and always wanted to help the kids out.”


First time you won anything: “It was a big hockey tournament when I played bantam. In Rimouski. I was 12 or 13 and my mom saved the picture.”


First time hockey took you away from home: “I was 18. I left to go play juniors at Baie-Comeau. I was never drafted in junior but invited to training camp. I went for a tryout and they told me I could stay if I wanted to. I decided to stick around but it was hard. I didn’t have the money to buy a car and I didn’t really have any freedom. But it was a small town and I met some great people. It was hard leaving the family nest, but the transition into hockey was easy.”


First pro contract: “I ended up signing a two-way with the United Hockey League and Albany in the AHL. You have expectations and I’m expecting to make like $500,000 but I ended up making $25,000. I’m like ‘Really? What’s going on here?’ I ended up playing in the UHL, a league I never heard of before. But I made it work. You have to grind it out and work for what you’ve got.”


First pro fight: “It was in Flint, against the Generals in the UHL. My first two games in the UHL I didn’t fight. I was really intimidated. Coming out of junior, I had 38 fights my last year. In pro, I thought I would fight as much, but I would see the size of those guys and thought how am I going to fight 40 times in this league? I got my first pro fight in Flint — two fights in the same game. Get it out of the way and I felt great. It was all mental.”


First time you faced adversity in your hockey career: “My first year in the UHL. I broke my hand in December and at the same time my junior team was trying to bring me back for one more year. They wanted me to be a leader and pay me good money. For a month I was injured. I was a 20-year-old kid, didn’t speak English, missed my girlfriend, first time in the states and my junior team was trying to get me back. I ended up sticking around in the UHL and, two weeks after I said ‘no’ to my junior team, I got called up to Albany.


“Later on in my career, I had labrum surgery and was out for six months. I had no contract, no job. I didn’t know what was going to happen, so that was a tough time, too.”




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds